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Taking Care of a Pug Puppy

Pugs are some of the most soulful looking animals on the planet, and are very expressive. You can easily recognize a pug as these small breed dogs have a wrinkly face and a curled tail. They first came to international prominence when mobile operator Vodafone used them to endorse their brand –the ad with the pug, named Hutch in the ad, was a stupendous success with the pug soon becoming a household name. This association with Vodafone encouraged many families to adopt pugs as pets, and it didn’t take long before they were amongst the most-in demand dog breed.

But there are certain things that you must be aware of if you also want to adopt this cute pet. Unlike adult pugs, small pug dogs are most likely to suffer from a number of health issues ranging from obesity, overheating and pharyngeal reflex. So, you need to be the doubly careful when dealing with these vulnerable puppies. If you are worried, you can take heart from the fact that taking care of the pups is uncomplicated and easy as they have very few demands.

Before bringing home the pug puppy

Ensure that you have all the grooming items in place starting from brush, cotton swabs, and petroleum jelly to puppy shampoo and dog treats.

Here are some guidelines that you can refer to when taking care of the pug puppy:

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Training the puppy to follow your commands: There is no substitute for a well-trained dog, so train the puppy from day one. The first six months are the most crucial as during this period, he will learn the most which will mold him. Take him through the lessons with affection, but at the same time don’t shy away from being firm if that is what is needed to ensure that he learns the lessons properly. Every time he responds correctly to your commands, like sit, run, jump, and come, give him some treats and words of encouragement. But there is one caveat: keep the sessions short as being such a young dog, his power of concentration is limited. To start with, 5-10 minute sessions would be ok.  Also, when taking him for a walk, better use a harness which will provide protection to his windpipe.

Potty training: This is a very important stage of puppy training. When he is young, he has very little control over his bladder, so you need to take him out for potty breaks more frequently than you would do to an adult. He may demand potty breaks every 2-4 hours at this stage, but as he grows older and his control over the bladder imp

roves, the frequency will gradually become normal. However, under no circumstances, you should overlook his tendency to soil corners of the home thinking that it is an isolated incident, because it is not. Deal with such incidents with a firm no, or else he will become a big nuisance and a lazy dog.

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Grooming routine: The pug has a double coat which keeps shedding continuously, so daily grooming is essential. Brush the pug at least twice every week and vacuum him extensively. In what is unusual, pug dogs are very fond of water, unlike other dogs. So, you shouldn’t have a problem giving it a timely bath. You can easily find soaps and other bath related items that are designed for puppies in the local outlet, use them. Try oatmeal based shampoos which not only keeps his skin soft, but protects his sensitive skin. Pugs have narrow ear canals, so chances of getting an ear infection if water gets into its ear are higher in pugs. What you can do is use soft tissues or a cotton ball to wipe the ear clean and dry. If your pug is shaking his head violently, then it may indicate an ear infection –and if there is an infection, get in touch with the vet immediately.

Cleaning of Pug Wrinkles

Pug wrinkles are called folds, which serve as a great place to accumulate all sorts of unwanted stuff like water, mucous, dirt, tear, food etc. It is the owner’s job to keep these wrinkles clean otherwise the unwanted stuff can cause infection. Cleaning of pug wrinkles is an easy task and getting the Pug used to it at an early age is a good idea.

Some owners use an Ear Bud or Q-Tip for this purpose, but we would not recommend this as the slightest struggle from your Pug could cause an eye injury. Instead, you can use baby wipes or medicated wipes. You can fill a cup with lukewarm water and dip the baby wipes or cotton swab in it. After that, run the moist tip of baby wipes through the wrinkles so that all dirt and grime particle come out. Keep in mind that skin inside your Pug’s facial folds is very sensitive; therefore, you should clean carefully. At the end, you should use a cotton swab to smear petroleum jelly inside the wrinkles to keep the internal skin protected.

Tackling overheating issues: Pugs are adversely affected by warm conditions and may get dehydrated. So, ensure that the living condition of the pup is cool- special care needs to be taken during the summers when the pugs feel great discomfort. What is unique to pugs is that they don’t have long wet noses like other dogs, which don’t allow them to get adjusted to warmer conditions. Regularly check the room temperature where the pug is kept, and if you feel that the room is too hot, you have to either move it to a cool room or else you have to provide him with lots of water. In extreme conditions, there are cold compresses that you can put on his belly till it cools down.

Exercise: Pugs are actually overweight for their size, so unless they exercise a lot heath issues are a given. Take him for a daily walk and play different games with it which will help it maintain its health. Be careful not to take him out on a bright sunny day, as it can dehydrate him.

Feeding the puppy: There are special diets that are designed for pugs. But you may be unsure which brand to select for your puppy as there are so many different brands in the market. The best thing to do in such a situation is to take the advice of a vet. Pugs would eat almost anything and in the process put on a lot of weight. So, make it a point not to overfeed it. Also, if your dog prefers a particular food and you want to wean it away from that food, do it gradually. This will ensure that he doesn’t have an upset tummy. Normally, puppies in the age group 3 to 6 months

should be fed at least three times  a day. And from 6 months to 1 year, change it to two times. To make the feeding process easier for the pet, try using bowls that has an elevated shape off the ground.

(For more guidance, please refer to this article : Puppy feeding tips for new dog owners)

Dealing with obesity: Overeating will not only make the pug overweight, but may pave the way for ailments like leg pain, eye disorders, and lung problems. So, you need to keep a close watch on its diet, especially to ensure that it doesn’t  over eat.


From Delhi, Rahul is an animal lover at heart. He is a writer and most of his writing revolves around making people aware of animal issues like health, training and grooming.

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